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Former Pistons All-Star Bill Laimbeer on Michael Jordan-era Bulls: ‘They were just whiners’

The feud between the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls in the late 1980s and early ’90s has been well-documented, and it was rehashed again in ESPN’s new documentary series about Michael Jordan and the Bulls, “The Last Dance”. Episodes three and four of the series focused on the playoff battles between the two teams, and how the Bulls needed to overcome the Pistons in order to develop into champions. The series also touched on how the “Bad Boys” Pistons were purposely physical with Jordan and his teammates, and how they refused to shake hands with Chicago after Detroit got swept in the 1991 playoffs. This didn’t sit right with the Bulls, who finally got the best of the Pistons.

 

 

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – MARCH 30: Former Detroit Piston Isiah Thomas talks to teammate Bill Laimbeer during a celebration of the 1989 and 1990 World Championship Detroit Pistons at halftime during a game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on March 30, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

 

“I hated them,” Jordan said in the documentary. “And that hate carries even to this day.”

A key contributor to those Pistons teams was All-Star center Bill Laimbeer, who served as the anchor of Detroit’s ferocious defense. On Monday, Laimbeer made an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump” to discuss the documentary and reflect on the rivalry with the Bulls, and he made it clear that the feelings of distaste were mutual.

“They whined and cried for a year and a half about how bad we were for the game, but more importantly, they said we were bad people,” Laimbeer said. “We weren’t bad people. We were just basketball players winning, and that really stuck with me because they didn’t know who we were or what we were about as individuals and our family life … But all that whining they did, I didn’t want to shake their hand. They were just whiners. They won the series. Give them credit: We got old, they got past us. But OK, move on.”

 

 

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 06: NBA legend Michael Jordan hits a tee shot during Aria Resort & Casino’s 13th Annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational at Shadow Creek on April 6, 2014 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational)

 

 

If it seems like Laimbeer doesn’t have any remorse on how he and his teammates handled things back then, it’s because he doesn’t.

“Why would I regret it now today? I don’t care what the media says about me. I never did,” Laimbeer said. “If I did, I’d be a basket case, especially back then … I was about winning basketball games and winning championships and did whatever I had to do to get the most out of my ability and our team — and we did. At the end of the day, we’re called world champions.”

 

 

 

 

One of the things that made the rivalry between the Pistons and Bulls so compelling during its day was the fact that there seemed to be genuine animosity between the two teams. And based off the recent comments by members of both sides, it’s clear that those feelings haven’t subsided.

 

Credit: CBSSports.com

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